What types of work are covered by the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) ?

When it comes to the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS), understanding the scope of work that falls under its purview is essential for both contractors and subcontractors. The CIS, implemented by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), is designed to regulate tax obligations within the construction industry and ensure compliance. However, determining which types of work are covered by the CIS can sometimes be confusing. In this blog post, we will provide clarity on the various categories of work that fall within the CIS framework. By gaining insight into the specific types of construction-related activities covered by the scheme, you can ensure that you comply with the necessary regulations and accurately fulfil your tax obligations. Join us as we explore the comprehensive range of work encompassed by the Construction Industry Scheme and gain a clear understanding of its applicability to your construction business.

What work is covered?

The Construction Industry Scheme covers most construction work to:

  • a permanent or temporary building or structure
  • civil engineering work like roads and bridges
  • CIS considers construction work to be:
  • preparing the site – for example, laying foundations and providing access works
  • demolition and dismantling
  • building work
  • alterations, repairs and decorating
  • installing systems for heating, lighting, power, water and ventilation
  • cleaning the inside of buildings after construction work


Some jobs do not require registration, such as: 

  • architecture and surveying
  • scaffolding hire (with no labour)
  • carpet fitting
  • making materials used in construction including plant and machinery
  • delivering materials
  • work on construction sites that’s clearly not construction – for example, running a canteen or site facilities

The CIS guide for contractors and subcontractors provides more details on what is and is not covered by the scheme.